First, I thank my God through Jesus Christ for all of you, because your faith is proclaimed in all the world. 9 For God is my witness, whom I serve with my spirit in the gospel of his Son, that without ceasing I mention you 10 always in my prayers, asking that somehow by God’s will I may now at last succeed in coming to you. 11 For I long to see you, that I may impart to you some spiritual gift to strengthen you— 12 that is, that we may be mutually encouraged by each other’s faith, both yours and mine. 13 I do not want you to be unaware, brothers, that I have often intended to come to you (but thus far have been prevented), in order that I may reap some harvest among you as well as among the rest of the Gentiles. 14 I am under obligation both to Greeks and to barbarians, both to the wise and to the foolish. 15 So I am eager to preach the gospel to you also who are in Rome.Romans 1:8-15
The book of Romans has so much richness in it. I love to read some of the back story about what is going on in the time when Paul was writing this. He longed to go to Rome to be with the Christians there but had been, as the scripture says, prevented or “hindered” from coming. Paul didn’t plant this church but he loved them and wanted to come. He had heard of their faith and prayed for them always. This letter was sent to the churches that were in Rome or under Roman providence. I wonder if these churches were scattered all along the Romans road, a paved road system, that was made by the Romans.
The scripture that stuck out to me in this passage was Romans 1: 11 For I long to see you, that I may impart to you some spiritual gift to strengthen you— 12 that is, that we may be mutually encouraged by each other’s faith, both yours and mine.
As we saw in the last post that the gospel strengthens our faith for obedience and here Paul talks about being strengthened. Notice that Paul wanted to come to them. There is something special about being together with other believers. Being with one another offers an opportunity to be mutually encouraged by each other. Paul expresses that their is a benefit because we each have been given spiritual gifts.
In 1 Corinthians, Paul shares about spiritual gifts and the body of Christ.
1 Cor 12:4-7 Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit; 5 and there are varieties of service, but the same Lord; 6 and there are varieties of activities, but it is the same God who empowers them all in everyone. 7 To each is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good.
1 Cor 12:18-20 But as it is, God arranged the members in the body, each one of them, as he chose. 19 If all were a single member, where would the body be? 20 As it is, there are many parts, yet one body.
How do we impart spiritual gifts and be encourage by each others faith?
We do life together! Where you are strong, it maybe that I am not. We were made to live together as one. We do not have to wrestle with life’s ups and downs alone because through Christ we are His body. As we do life together, we sharpen and strengthen each other as we learn from each other. We impart our gifts to each other through being with one another.
Some are really good at seeing a need and filling it. Others do not see those needs – its not their gifting. Those with the gift of hospitality have a knack for anticipating and moving to fill those needs with a heart that loves to serve. I have a friend like that. As I have walked beside her in friendship I have picked up (or she has imparted) that gifting to me. I am now better able, as we’ve walked together in life, to see what I wasn’t able to see before and move to serve the needs around me because her gift has strengthens me. We as Christians strengthen each other.
All is grace,